Arches National Park
Arches National Park
Our day at Arches National Park began very early, with us arriving at the Visitor Center by 7am, in the hopes of obtaining permits to hike the “Fiery Furnace” area of the park. Though we were second in line, there were no permits available for our first day in the park, but we were able to procure 6 permits for this wild experience for Tuesday, so we took full advantage.
After our stop at the Visitor Center, we hightailed it, with our kids still in jammies, to Delicate Arch, one of the most notable and popular sites at Arches National Park. We knew was likely to be a decently hot day (though not as hot as it is notorious for being in the Summer months), and wanted to get an early start, especially for the kids’ sake. It was a tough hike, our toughest of the trip, with many vertical climbs up slick rock.. Quinn, admittedly our weakest link, CRUSHED it, and walked entire way uphill holding mine or Grace’s hands. We took a small stop at Frame Arch for the kids to climb, and then continued on, over a small rock ledge, to Delicate Arch. It was GORGEOUS, and framed the snow-capped mountains behind with the most incredible view.
Surprisingly, at the top, I could tell that Brady was having a bit of hard time, only to discover when talking with him that the heights were really scaring him. I stuck with him from that point on, and had the best time hiking down with he and Grace (Quinn and Hayden were a bit ahead with Justin).
After Delicate Arch, we continued on to Balanced Rock. We could see it well from the RV, but a few of us took a small pathway for a closer view. What an incredible sight!
Finally, towards the end of the day, we made a stop to hike the Windows, and Double Arch. Quinn wasn’t having it (he was exhausted), and Grace offered to stay in the RV with him and color and play some games, so Justin and I did this route with Brady and Hayden. It was an incredible day to end our day in Arches, and we calculated that we walked 8 miles this day alone!
We traveled to our campsite at Devil’s Garden in the Park, a new home for us for the night, and what a treat our spot was! This campground is known as one of the most beautiful and unique in all of the National Parks, and it truly was.
We had a blast celebrating our Quinn’s Birthday with dinner and chocolate cake and ice cream, his request. This was after a failed attempt to eat cake and ice cream on the top of our RV while watching the sunset. Turns out that Quinn was a little too nervous about breaking rules to enjoy it, so we moved inside after the Sunset to celebrate our boy. He opened all of his gifts, including an amazing handmade story (12 chapters long!) written by his siblings. We love you, Quinn!
The next morning, we woke up and did a short hike to Landscape Arch. Of all the Arches in the park, this one is the most precarious, and apparently experienced a giant rock slide in 1991. Many experts say it likely won’t be around for eternity, so we were glad to see it.
Then, we headed to the “Fiery Furnace,” A hike up that we were all highly anticipating! I cannot tell you just how tough this course was! On this hike, there is no particular “route,” And it’s just like a giant maze with 1 million different ways to get through, all of them requiring scrambling up-and-down giant boulders, wedging yourself through giant crevices in the rock, and shimmying up and down large “fins” in the rock. WE GOT COMPLETELY LOST. On my end, there were several moments of panic, worrying that our kids would run out of energy, and there would be no way we could make it back. Luckily, we had plenty of food and water, but I knew our energy was limited. After almost 3 1/2 hours, we made it out of the maze. The kids were incredibly tired, but so proud, And they are now saying that it was their favorite thing they did in the park! I’m so glad we all had the experience!
Onward to Denver! We are all so looking forward to some downtime after a crazy last 12 days!